Fact checked by Jonathan Eilenberg, CPE
Jonathan Eilenberg, CPE
Jonathan Eilenberg is a Certified Professional Ergonomist who is a Senior Ergonomics Engineer at Casper with over 6 years of experience in occupational injury prevention.
Do You know what’s a real pain in the neck? Waking up with a pain in your neck.
If you’ve been routinely waking up with pain and discomfort in your neck, you might wonder what can be done to help you feel like your best self at each sunrise. And though you may swear by the way you sleep—back, stomach, or side—it might be time to reassess your pillow position and sleeping position alike.
That’s right—your sleeping habits could add to your neck pain or even cause it together. Fortunately, a quick and simple change, like stacking your pillows or moving them around, could be all that’s standing between you and a pain-free morning.
Before we jump into the best pillow position for neck pain relief, let’s start by taking a closer look at how you’re lying down to rest.
Fun fact: Side sleeping is the most popular sleep position, with 60% of people getting their beauty rest laying on one side or another, while the second most popular position is laying on your back. But which one is better for your neck? The best sleeping position is one that keeps your spine and hips aligned, but that’s easier said than done. Let’s lay out the facts:
But how shouldn’t you sleep if you’re hoping to reduce neck pain? Well, there’s one final contender:
Now that you’ve figured out which sleeping position is best for your neck, it’s time to learn how to position your pillow. Because each sleeping position causes your body to align with your bed and pillow in a different way, the best pillow positioning for neck pain relief will also be a bit different for each.
So, how to sleep with pillows? Here’s the proper pillow position for sleeping in different positions:
Another factor to check out is where your hands are falling. It’s recommended that back sleepers rest their hands along their sides or on their chest to help reduce neck pain.
Aside from being conscious of your sleep position, you should also use the right pillow. A thin pillow might not provide enough neck support, while a thick pillow might also cause stiff neck and even chronic pain.
If you’ve cleaned up your sleeping habits and polished up your pillow position—but you’re still waking up feeling like the Hunchback of Notre Dame—there are a few other things you can try to help reduce neck pain creeping in as you sleep, such as trying different types of pillows:
It’s amazing how much the way you position your body at night can help you feel better during the day. Whether you’re a die-hard side sleeper or simply need a little extra support, the right pillow positions could give you a world of relief.
At Casper, we’ve made it our mission to help you find your best sleep yet. From an entire range of pillows designed to support your head and neck to mattresses made to take your sleep game to a whole new level, we’re here to help you get some serious shut-eye.
Wake up feeling like a whole new you with Casper.
Sleep Foundation. Best Sleeping Positions. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleeping-positions
Harvard Health Publishing. Say “good night” to neck pain. https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/say-good-night-to-neck-pain
Sleep Foundation. Best Sleeping Position for Neck Pain. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleeping-positions/best-sleeping-position-for-neck-pain
Casper blog articles are written by skilled authors and periodically reviewed by our team of sleep experts at Casper Labs. Driven by comprehensive research and evidence-based practices, we ensure that the content we publish is reliable, actionable, and practical for enhancing sleep quality and wellness.
Our articles incorporate trusted third-party sources, cited within the content and listed at the end for easy reference. At Casper we strive to be an authority and trusted resource for all things sleep.